The Art of Observation

IMG_0123 (2)If we travel back to our birth, we realize that learning did not take place through formal instruction – nor was there a handbook available to us on how to recognize qualities that made up our new environment: new parents, new siblings, new tastes, and new feelings of touch. So how did we learn about the world around us?  We were astute observers, natural students. No one gave us a set of directions on how to notice temperature, touch, taste, or sound. We somehow did it – almost like a miracle. Deep within us lay a knack for observation. Every experience was new and we curiously observed every new sight and sound. Overtime, we began to find patterns among the sounds of voices in our environment. One voice indicated the presence of a caretaker, and yet, another may hint at a nearby playmate.

Because we were beginners in the world, we were able to experience everything as if we were experiencing it for the first time. This quality of our mind is called beginner’s mind in mindfulness meditation. It is a quality that can be harnessed, practice, and strengthened. Seeing things for the first time allows us to suspend fear and judgment for a few moments so we can take in and process the present moment without analysis. Imagine seeing a math problem, which naturally asks us to turn on our pattern-finding, analytical minds. Now, instead of approaching the written problem with anxiety and presupposed judgment, imagine you could just first absorb the numbers, terms, and information from the writing in front of you. You peer with child-like curiosity at the numbers and terms. You wonder what these symbols are and what they may possibly mean. Now, you are truly learning…

Join me in strengthening the childlike quality of our mind called beginner’s mind in “The Art of Observation” meditation below (background “Piano Meditation” music by Chris Collins).

This entry was posted in Beginner's Mind, Observation, Preparing the Mind, Stillness and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Art of Observation

  1. Pingback: Embracing Your Pace | Learning In Stillness

  2. Pingback: Self Regulation III – Morning Mindfulness: The Mind & The Inextinguishable Flame | Learning In Stillness

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